Through the Spotted Gums

Daniel Smith - Senior Art Supply Award

Through the Spotted Gums - Louise Foletta - Winner 2017

Through the Spotted Gums (Road to Myer House)  2017, Watercolour. 75 x 105cm 640gsm

“Through the Spotted Gums” is a large painting started on location in Southern NSW about 2015. Louise brought the work in progress with her on this year's trip, determined to finish it.

There was only one opportunity to go back to the location, permission given, somewhere on a dusty private track.  We set out to find the exact spot where Louise had started the painting, some years ago.

The track winds down for several kilometers through a forest of Spotted Gums and Bowyang Cycads. I was skeptical but Louise knew exactly where she had been several years before and when she got the painting out she was able to triangulate the exact position, using the painting as her reference point!

Louise set up and started to work and develop this early stage of a significant painting and painted for several hours in the middle of the dusty track: occasionally moving for an errant Ute passing and kicking up dust.

The painting shows all the character and atmosphere of this Bow Yang and Spotted Gum forest. If you walk along the track and observe carefully you can find the exact spot it represents.

It is literal, atmospheric and an abstraction. It is also Courageous.

The type of work is outside Louise's comfort zone, and even though in the country she knows well, it is in a place which is very challenging to paint. Yet she has produced this major piece of art from her sheer determination to complete the work.

Take time to look carefully at this outstanding work and you will be transported to the track where you can almost smell the tangy aroma of the gums, feel the heat and dust and delight in the experience over and over again.

Opening Remarks: Sally Romanes, Past President, Victorian Water Colour Society - Moments in Our Timeless Land Gallery Exhibition, 16 November 2017.